Paper Information

Journal:   ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY & THEOLOGY (ISLAMIC STUDIES (KALAM))   FALL 2008 - WINTER 2009 , Volume - , Number 81/2; Page(s) 37 To 72.
 
Paper: 

THE PARADOX OF ABSOLUTE NONEXISTENT AND ITS PARALLEL PROPOSITIONS

 
 
Author(s):  AZIMI MAHDI*
 
* ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY TEHRAN UNIVERSITY
 
Abstract: 

The misconception (shubha) of absolute nonexistent – which we have named as paradox – is not an amusing brainteaser; rather, it is one the significant epistemological issues. Its importance can be looked upon from two different viewpoints: research and educational. It is significant from the research viewpoint because it challenges propositions which constitute the foundation of our thinking and knowledge, propositions such as impossibility of contradiction, vicious circle, and endless chain. It is also significant from the educational viewpoint, since it has been dealt with in the two widely used texts Bidaya and Niḥaya, albeit very briefly. This very brevity and succinctness has been misleading so as it has put the philosophy students into difficulty and confusion and prompted some of the eminent contemporary philosophy researchers to accuse the author of these books as having uttered ramblings. For many years this issue has confounded the minds of many of the intellectuals and challenged them to try to find a solution for it. Sadr al-Muti’allihin Shirazi (Mulla Sadra) – the greatest intellectual of all ages and the unrivalled genius – has dealt with this paradox and the similar propositions in his unique treasure, Asfar, and proposed some solutions which can be traced back to the writings of others, as well. In this article, I first made a study of the background of the paradox of absolute nonexistent and delved into the paradoxes parallel to it in nature and destiny, and then clarified Mulla Sadra's responses by exploring his words and indicated that he has given two responses in solving this paradox. Next, in light of these responses, I proceeded to reappraise ‘Allama Tabataba’i (ra)'s words in order to reveal that, although succinct and ambiguous, his words are far from being labeled as rambling. Finally, after giving a report and assessment of post-Mulla Sadra researches, I picked out one of his two responses, as well as a solution by one of the intellectuals preceding him, which with certain rephrasing and restructuring, I regarded as qualified.

 
Keyword(s): ABSOLUTE NONEXISTENT, PRIMARY ESSENTIAL PREDICATION, COMMON TECHNICAL PREDICATION
 
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